J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Arrival of Louis-Philippe: ?The 'Gomer' near the Mouth of Portsmouth Harbour 1844

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Arrival of Louis-Philippe: ?The ‘Gomer’ near the Mouth of Portsmouth Harbour 1844
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 57
Watercolour on white wove paper, 238 x 315 mm
Partial watermark ‘[...]9’
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram centre right
Inscribed in red ink ‘57’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCLXIV – 57’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Like the other works grouped here, this relates to the arrival of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, at Portsmouth Harbour on 8 October 1844, as discussed in the Introductions to this subsection and the overall section.1 Robert Upstone has noted the bunting in the rigging on the left, which Turner ‘abbreviates ... to dots’;2 for other examples see the subsection’s Introduction.3
Upstone has suggested that the vessel on the right is the King’s large hybrid sail-steamship, the Gomer, sailing north from the Solent into the harbour’s mouth, with the cupola of Portsmouth Cathedral and the Square Tower semaphore station to the east; compare the prospect in Tate D35888 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 48).4 The ship paused at the Victoria Pier below the semaphore tower before moving on to Gosport;5 it is shown in a pencil drawing in the Louis-Philippe at Portsmouth sketchbook (Tate D35692; Turner Bequest CCCLXII 5).
See also Smiles 2014, p.168.
Upstone 1993, p.53.
See also David Blayney Brown, Turner and the Channel: Themes and Variations c.1845, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1987, p.20.
See also Warrell 2013, p.10.
Upstone 1993, p.53; see also Warrell 2013, p.9.
Blank; inscribed in ink ‘5’ top right (for other sheets numbered in this way see the Introduction to this subsection); stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCCLXIV – 57’ towards bottom right.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Arrival of Louis-Philippe: ?The ‘Gomer’ near the Mouth of Portsmouth Harbour 1844 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, March 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-arrival-of-louis-philippe-the-gomer-near-the-mouth-of-r1185694, accessed 22 March 2019.